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Educational Consumer Tips

Online Shopping Tips

Author: Better Business Bureau

When you shop online, make sure you shop smart. Know who you are dealing with, where they are located (street address) and verify that street address is valid. Know what you are buying, what the refund or exchange policy is, and ensure your account and credit card information is secure and dealt with safely.  In addition:

Be wary if the website looks suspicious or unprofessional. Does it include a full, valid street address? Verify that address exists. Also be wary of spelling errors and unrealistic promises. 
Know what you are buying. Read the description of the product carefully and check size, color, value and safety of the product. What is the estimated shipping time of the product to you?
Check the total amount of the purchase including shipping and handling. Also, if you return the item, who is responsible for the cost in shipping it back? What is the refund or exchange policy? 
Use a secure payment method such as PayPal or your own credit card. Avoid wire money transfers and direct debit. Never send your bank or credit card details via email.
Always print and keep a copy of the transaction. Keep records of any emails to and from the seller.